Jolly Boys Outing.
Yo, this be Reuben. As a Brit, I love a good ol’ pub, and a good ol’ comedy. The World’s End mixes the two in a ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ film, so must be pretty good. And, yeah, it is.
The film follows the story of five old friends meeting up again in their old hometown Newton Haven to finish ‘The Golden Mile’ pub crawl, which they previously tried but couldn’t finish, in which they had to have at least one pint of beer in all twelve of the pubs in the town until reaching the final destination, The World’s End itself. ‘Course, the town’s full of robots (or ‘Blanks’), so it all goes a bit mad.
This cast of mates includes Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, of course, as Gary King and Andy Knightly respectively, along with Peter Page (Eddie Marson), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman) and Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), who all reluctantly join Gary, ‘The King’, on his mighty drunken quest.
First and foremost, there is a very strong British feel to The World’s End, maybe more prominently than in Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, as it is set in such a typical quaint English little town and all these sticky pubs, every line and every setting smacking British stereotypes in your face. There are constantly references to British culture and puns all over the place to slam the patriarchy all over your business, although subtly in a truly British manner. And, as an Englishman it is refreshing to see such an honest and true perspective of the country’s mannerisms in an action comedy such as it is — although I suppose the other two flicks in the trilogy did it pretty well too.
This proud to be British air to the movie is in essence its driving force, with its quirky honesty making it unique in cinema. The fact that it is all pretty much set in pubs makes it all the more like it is than the other two, if you know what I mean? I mean, I also much appreciate the micky-takes of the refurbished pubs, another example of its brutal honesty.
Indeed, the comedy writing is pretty much all based on British cultural references, and has the perfect tone of subtlety and pundom to make for a very chuckle-worthy flick. However, it ain’t as funny as their other two films, now is it. Firstly, there is something about the group of mates that doesn’t quite click in The World’s End. I get that they’re meant to be reluctant about the whole affair and have gone their separate ways, but that means there is little room for chemistry, which is dwindling and ponderous for the most part, often barred by Gary’s show-off character.
Gary is a qualm I have with The World’s End: he just isn’t very likable. Again, I see that’s the point of his character, but make him a bit less annoying and there’s more room for character development, and a better performance from Simon Pegg. I dunno, maybe he’s an acquired taste, he can be fun at points. He’s like if Jack Sparrow wasn’t as good.
Another major downpoint for The World’s End is its start. Much like Rogue One, it is ponderous, slightly all over the place, and just isn’t massively enjoyable. Thankfully, after about 20 minutes the fun does kick in, but the fact remains that it is a slightly frustrating beginning.
Nonetheless, once the fun does kick in, the flick becomes a great watch. The subtle British humour mixed with the ridiculous robot-smashing action makes for about an hour of action comedy to really scoff the popcorn down to. The action may not be perfectly choreographed, but it’s a barrel of laughs in its stupidity. It’s at the points when Gary’s trying to get his pint in in every pub whilst splatting blue-blooded robots with another’s severed leg when you start to ignore the problems of character development and slightly sub-par performances, and just be entertained.
It is a bit brainless, but at the end of the day The World’s End is just a big slab of stupid fun. As a film, it’s like a slightly crappy fish and chips; it’s not perfect but you love it really. It’s not vital watching, but if you get the chance, you might as well. Go on!
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